The Future: Embedding Data in the Everyday

Imagine a world where data becomes the everyday, simply embedded in what you normally do. It’s really not far off if you think about it. We use charts, graphs, and viz to make important decisions with investments, businesses, and to stay informed on the news, so why not use it in our own lives?

This infographic video, The Ambient Life, is a vision of that future by Freeband Communication and IIPIC. Watch for the dramatic twist in the middle. Just when you thought it was safe to go for a jog…

We’ve seen this type of projected future before (see here, here, and here). Still though, I never get tired of this stuff. It’s going to happen… eventually.

[via via Cool Infographics]


  • As a Type 1 diabetic, and a wannabe endurance athlete, I live this to some degree. I wear two mini-catheters – one for insulin injection via pump, another for continuous moitoring of blood glucose levels. When cycling I wear a heart monitor. Wire me up and jack me in – I’m ready for more tech!

  • That video is ridiculous.

    And why is everyone white?

    • Manoel Galdino November 18, 2009 at 9:33 am

      First, she shouldn’t stop ther running so suddenly. It’s dandegerous. So, it is medically wrong.
      Second, it seems a controlled world. There will be almost no privacy!!!

      • They do mention privacy in the beginning, but yeah, there’s always a concern when dealing with personal data. There’s a lot of people working on that too.

  • Nathan: I agree with you that it is exciting to think about the possible integration of data and analytics into everyday life. However, I am still quite skeptical about how functional it will be.

    By biggest concern has less to do with the technology, and more with user-error. As far as we’ve come I would posit that the majority of people are still numeric-phobic. They either don’t understand numbers, probabilities, etc, or they don’t care to. For this world to truly ‘work’ there is a great deal of change we’ll need to see in how people are educated when it comes to data and a higher priority placed on that education.

    • it’ll take some learning yes, kind of like how we learned to figure out what is fact and fiction on the Web, but we’ll get there. The tools will have to edumacate user about their data, in addition to communicate and visualize the data. There’s still a lot of work to be done before that happens of course.

  • it is a horror! big brother at its worst

  • um – what’s with the planes flying into buildings? I liked everything up until that point (though I don’t know why, when he found out she was not doing well he didn’t call her as obviously they would have communications with them – I mean really, best thing to do is to bike around chasing her?), but after that the video got, well, just not right…

  • This couple could use a couple of cell phones for Christmas.

    Sorry to be critical, but the guy’s house knew more about his girlfriend than he did; he jumps on his bike to go find her, instead of a quick call; and planes falling out of the sky is a daily occurrence.

    The world needs better scriptwriters.

  • I think that the everyday visualisation idea is a real goer, actually I’m quite inspired by it. Not on the level of monitoring my personal information (heart rate sugar levels etc), although I think this is a great idea but I’m inspired because I want to get the data from my house into a visualisation. I see this displaying things like, water and power consumption (you could even link it into you car). If it was hooked up correctly (and that shouldn’t be to hard) then you could compare this to last month/week/year, which would mean that it should be a lot easier to understand and work with. You could even show usage by hour or by show for example, this would open up a lot of ways to reduce our impact on the planet and also to reduce our cost of living. I know that here in NZ over the last winter some people have had 600$ power bills (per month) and they struggled to pay them, with a read out like this then estimations could be done (easily) and they would get into this problem, could probably even be notified. I’ll have to do some more research :) thanks for the inspiration.

  • everyday data has limited applicability for those who need it, like those with health problems.

    our society is already experiencing information overload on a much grander scale. this will only make things much worse. do i really need to know what my body’s summary statistics?

    • It’s only an overload because we don’t know how to manage the data yet. In the future we’ll be able to make sense of all these data through simple visualizations and actually make these data useful depending on your needs and environment. Imagine being able to see how much money it cost you every time you use your tap water or take a shower? Visualizing consumption of energy will be a great help in order to stop our current massive waste.